From: Bob Rankin 
Subject: TOURBUS - 17 Dec 02 - Return to Google Labs

TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC: A Return Trip to Google Labs

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, the ... um ... ah ... OH NO! I've run out of things to say about Irvine! :(

Oh, well. I guess I'll have to just point you to the "History of Irvine" page at .

TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors. Please take a moment to visit today's sponsors and thank them for keeping our little bus of Internet happiness on the road week after week.

On with the show ...

A Return Trip to Google Labs

In my last post I told you about Froogle (, Google's new price comparison engine. Back in July, we pulled our little bus of Internet happiness into the Google Labs web site at ,

a place where evil Google scientists work on new technologies and tools. If I remember correctly, we talked about two new projects at Google Labs: Google Glossary and Google Sets.

Well, the folks at Google Labs recently unveiled two new monsters upon the unsuspecting, peaceful people of the Internet: Google Viewer and Google Webquotes.

Google Viewer

Google Viewer, at ,

works a lot like the Google search engine we all know and love. Key in a search term and Google's patented pigeon clusters find a gozillion Web pages that match your search term. What makes Google Viewer different is that instead of showing you LINKS to the pages that match your search term, it actually SHOWS you the resulting pages themselves, sort of like a scrolling slide show of relevant Web pages. So, thanks to the Google Viewer, you can actually view the results of your Google search without having to move your mouse.

And, best of all, there's no software to download or install. Google Viewer does its magic using nothing but your Web browser and an Internet connection.

For example, do a search for Patrick Crispen at and the first thing you'll see is a regular Google results page with a special VCR-like like viewer bar tacked on to the top of the page. Almost instantly, the results page changes, showing you, at the top of your screen. Google's first hit and an 800 x 600 interactive "thumbnail" of that hit at the bottom of your screen. Wait five seconds and hit number two appears. And so on.

You can stop and start the "slide show," and change the speed at which the pages are displayed, simply by clicking on the buttons at top of the screen. And the Google Viewer couldn't be simpler to operate. If you can use a VCR, you can use Google Viewer (although I think Google needs to redesign the stop button to look more like a stop sign -- the current stop button looks a little too much like the record button on a VCR).

All in all, the Google Viewer is one of the coolest things I have seen in a while.

Google WebQuotes

Google's second monster, called Google WebQuotes, can be found at .

According to Google,

Google WebQuotes annotates the results of your Google search with comments from other websites. This offers a convenient way to get a third party's opinion about each of the returns for your search, providing you with more information about that site's credibility and reputation

Search for a particular company or topic --, Bob Rankin, Anaheim Angels Rally Monkey -- and Google WebQuotes shows you what other Web pages and sites say about that company or topic. For example, do a search for and Google WebQuotes shows you that there are 35 WebQuotes about our little bus of Internet happiness. [Oddly, the quotes are all positive, so I wouldn't give them much credence.]

If you have been online for a while, you may remember back during the halcyon days of the Internet there was software that you could install that let you leave little post-it notes on various Web sites, those notes being viewable by anyone else who had installed the same software. That's *NOT* what Google WebQuotes is about. Google WebQuotes displays *public* comments, stuff that has been written on other Web pages. For example, if I write a page at that says "Tourbus is horrible and Patrick Crispen is a blathering idiot with the IQ roughly equivalent to that of an ant," Google would count that as a WebQuote. And anyone who searched for "Tourbus" using Google WebQuotes would see that quote.

By default, Google WebQuotes only shows you three quotes for each matching site, but you can always change that number right above the search box.

Between you and me, Google WebQuotes is cool ... I guess ... but it is no where near as cool as the Google Viewer. But that's just my opinion. And, remember, I have the IQ roughly equivalent to that of an ant. :P

A Quick Note about Ad-Aware

If you have had problems using Ad-Aware's RefUpdate to download and install the latest Ad-Aware spyware definitions, I think I've found a solution: download and install the latest versions of both Ad-Aware (5.83) and RefUpdate (2.01) at .

And, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out my 10 August 2002 post on how to download, install, and use Ad- Aware to delete most of the spyware that may be hiding on your computer.

That's it for today! Have a safe and happy week and we'll talk again soon! :)

Thanks to AOL for hosting the TOURBUS on LISTSERV since 1995! ******************************************************* Exclusive Offer for AOL - Free Trial! *******************************************************

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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